What is Periscope – Getting Started with Livestream Video

Periscope Livestream Video From Your Smartphone 

You can read my first impression of Periscope in a related blog post – this is Part 2 of the series on the new livestreaming video app.

I’m still new to the platform, and definitely consuming more than I am creating, as I explore what is out there in videoland and decide how I can use this cool livestreaming video platform to help my audience discover what Periscope can do for their business or brand.

I’ve put together a few tips on getting started, whether you’re sharing the world around you with friends and family or considering Persicope as a marketing tool for your business. Plus I’ve gathered some of the best tips and hacks from the smart and tech-savvy people in my online community.

Periscope video - Okanagan Fruit Tree Company cherry picking by Angelique of Bright Spark Media

Periscope Tips: Getting Started

After you’ve installed the Periscope app on your iPhone or Android Smartphone (it’s free), you’ll want to become familiar with the features and discover what’s out there.

Two very important things to note:

  1. Periscope replays are only available for 24 hours (unless you choose the “autosave to Camera Roll” option on your iPhone before you start the broadcast, though the comments and hearts are not saved, just the raw video.)
  2. Use a wifi connection if possible. You’ll burn through your available data extremely quickly if you livestream using your wireless cell phone connection.


I should point out, as I did in my earlier blog post about my first impressions about Periscope, that the app was originally envisioned as a way to “explore the world through someone else’s eyes” as their tagline states. It was made for personal use to share the world around us. So I’ll start with basics relating to scoping with friends and family.

  • Visit the Periscope blog for helpful tips on how to get started with Periscope.
  • Download the app for iPhones on iTunes or other Smartphones on Google Play.
  • Connect it to your Twitter account (if you wish) – this saves time because your bio and profile picture is uploaded.
  • Follow people and invite your friends.
  • You can make your broadcast private to share only with followers.
  • Observe first – explore the features, watch what others are doing. What do you like or dislike about their broadcasts?
  • Showcase you, your neighbourhood, events you’re attending, and what you’re up to.


Periscope for Business Tips

The general tips above apply too, but here are some specific suggestions for business owners and brands looking to take advantage of the unique opportunity that Periscope presents:

  • Fill in your bio (more on this below from some of my fave social media experts). Use keywords for your industry. In fact it’s something you should complete for all of your social networks! Include a link to a sales page or special Periscope landing page too – when viewed from a desktop, the link is clickable.
  • As stated in the personal use section above, connect Periscope to your Twitter account – this saves time because your bio and profile picture is uploaded. Plus you can broadcast to your Twitter feed automatically.
  • Follow people and watch some scopes first. Local media, journalists and newscastors, bloggers, social media and marketing experts are all good profiles to follow and learn how they are using Periscope in a strategic way for their business.
  • Start with a title slide or shot that describes your scene. You could easily create a slide in Canva or PowerPoint, or start with an opening shot of your business signage, product or logo of you’re a brick and mortar business. (You don’t want your opening shot to look like the ones below!)
screenshot of live Periscope feeds with no purposeful opening video shot

screenshot of live Periscope feeds with no purposeful opening video shot. Not very attractive or compelling, right?


  • Plan your title with keywords, hashtags and emojis so it stands out and gets found in a search.
  • Keep your broadcasts short – less than 10 minutes is ideal because people can’t jump forward or back when viewing the replay. But guage viewer retention and activity – once people start dropping off or stop commenting and giving hearts, it’s time to wrap it up.
  • Interact with your audiencethe ability to interact in real-time is a huge benefit of using Periscope over YouTube videos. Watch the screen as you see people tuning in to your broadcast. Mention them. Thank them for the hearts and liking your video. Ask them questions (even as simple as “where are you watching from”) and read out answers. People love shoutouts!



  • Use Call to Actions (CTAs) – tell people how much you love their hearts, ask them to share the broadcast, or visit your website for more tips (and you can tell them to visit your bio for the link you created above!)
  • Show your personal side with behind-the-scenes, where you live, showcase other local businesses or community leaders.
  • Enable the “share to Twitter” function so your live feed is automatically posted on your Twitterfeed to reach your followers.
  • Since the replay is only available for 24 hours on your Periscope feed, be sure to enable the “autosave to Camera Roll” feature on your iPhone (not sure if this is available on Android devices) so you can repurpose your scopes. Note that only the video is saved, not the comments and hearts.
  • Repurpose your saved scopes – upload them to Facebook or YouTube and create a Periscope playlist; add it to your blog post.
  • Stand out – how can you differentiate yourself? Mia Voss, who grew a huge following on Google+ with her The Mia Connect show using Hangouts on Air, used brand-related hashtags such as #getyourlearnon, #MiaOnTheGo and #batcrapcrazy. Oh, and Mia always wore a tiara on her #TheMiaConnect show. On Periscope she features the QoTD (question of the day), 30 pound cat, and “what’s on top” to encourage people to engage and to become familiar with her brand.


The Mia Connect show Hangout on Air - Mia had fun with her guests and differentiated herself and created a brand

The Mia Connect show Hangout on Air – Mia had fun with her guests and differentiated herself by creating a branded image. One of my favourite episodes featured Peg Fitzpatrick and Guy Kawasaki from Canva.


What Type of Businesses Could Use Periscope?

While Periscope started as an innovative way to see the world through someone else’s livestream, marketers have already dived in headfirst as they see the potential value in this new platform for brand awareness and developing closer relationships with their audience.

Due to the real-time interaction that’s possible while transmitting a live video feed, I think there is a lot of potential for all types of businesses to get value out of creating livestream videos. The medium is perfect for any visual industry, or those needing to demonstrate how to do something,  so these would definitely have lots to share:

  • travel and tourism
  • real estate
  • retail clothing stores and high-end fashion houses
  • home decor, interior design and home staging
  • artists, musicians and photographers
  • hospitality industry such as restaurants, bed & breakfasts, cafes
  • bloggers
  • supermarkets and farmers markets
  • fashion and beauty such as make up companies,  clothing and retail brands
  • beauty services such as hairstylists, makeup artists
  • health and wellness such as yoga and fitness studios, physiotherapists and massage therapists, spas
  • festivals, events and conferences
  • grass roots movements and non-profit organizations (My 2nd scope was at the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project, part of a global movement where volunteers are matched up with tree owners to pick fruit which is donated to charities such as the Food Bank, women’s shelters, and Gospel Mission. I had a great discussion with the co-ordinator about how they might use this themselves to get more awareness of their organization.)


I think most businesses could jump on board and see a benefit from Periscope, especially since the livestream video app is so closely linked to Twitter.

However, as with any new social network, it’s a good idea to “claim your name”, then decide how much time you are ready to dedicate to learning and creating content. Periscope is definitely addictive, both in watching and in creating live broadcasts. So it can become a drain on your time if you don’t integrate it into your online marketing strategy.

When it comes to using Periscope for business, remember it’s about “them” not “you”. What does your audience want to learn from your skills and expertise, or find out about you? How can that translate to this new medium?


Your turn: How can your business use Periscope?

Have you tried Periscope yet? What are you sharing on the livestream broadcast? (Share your Periscope handle too!)

Where  could you see adding real-time livestream video broadcasts to your business strategy?



Name 3 … Do you know some awesome Scopers? Click the photo below or tell me your 3 must-follow Periscope peeps in the comments below!







What We Do

Bright Spark Media is located in Kelowna, BC. We help small businesses, entrepreneurs and service professionals in the Okanagan Valley and globally online. We offer social media training, customized social media set up, social media strategy and business coaching sessions, as well as commercial or event photography services and web design...everything to help you create an irresistible online presence!


Kelowna, BC, Canada
Phone: +1 250.575.5964
Email: BrightSparkSocialMedia@gmail.com